British company Red Sound System's first synth, the Darkstar is atable-top 8-voice polyphonic synthesizer suitable for anybody who wantsaffordable analog sounds for use in most any style of electronic music. Analog sounds are created by DSP-based analog modeling which means you'll get reliable and clean analog-type synth sounds in an economical and professional instrument. The Darkstar features 2 oscillators per voice, 5-part multitimbral set-up, joystick mixing for oscillators, ring modulation, filter resonance and pink/white/blue noise generators.Its unique look is modeled after RSS's other DJ tools. There are 14 knobs, all of which transmit MIDI data and provide instant hands-on access to the filters and envelopes. The two LFOs and two envelope generators provide plenty of modulation abilities for the oscillators, pulse-width and filter. The filter offers high-, low- and band-Pass filtering with a 12dB/oct slope. It's not spectacular, but it is fairly flexible since both the cutoff and resonance can be modulated by either LFO and EG for a wide range of filter-sweeping effects. The DarkStar has a simple yet powerful upgrade system as well. By simply plugging-in an EPROM chip into a compartment on its underside you can get an entirely new synth such as a vocoder or mega-mono synth. The DarkStar certainly has some interesting concepts and good sounds at a very affordable price, though this low price may be noticed in the construction and design of the machine. Still it may just be too good to pass up if you're on a budget! Polyphony - 8 voices Oscillators - 2 per voice (Osc 1: continuously variable between Sawtooth and square/pulse; OSC 2: Formant or pink / white / blue noise); hard sync-able LFO - 2 with separate speed and delay controls (Ramp, Triangle, Square, Sine, Pulse, Sample & hold, Random waveforms); MIDI sync-able Effects - Auto-Panning, Tremolo, Fixed frequency Ring Modulation, Portamento Filter - 12dB/oct resonant with low-, high- and band-pass Keyboard - None Memory - 64 patches Control - MIDI (5-parts) Date Produced - 1999
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